Proposed “Opportunity to Work Act”

In December 2016, AB 5 was introduced into the CA State Assembly.  It would apply to employers with 10 or more employees.  It’s modeled after a new San Jose ordinance.  It would require covered employees to offer additional work hours to existing staff before hiring new employees or contracting with staffing firms.  The bill requires employers to offer additional hours of work to an existing employee if, in the employer’s “reasonable judgment,” the worker “has the skills and experience to perform the work.”  It also requires employers to use a “transparent and nondiscriminatory process” to hand out work hours to its existing employees.  Employers would not have to offer more hours to their existing employees if it would lead to overtime work.  Thus, this bill’s purpose is to give more hours to qualified part-time workers who are already employed.  It would, necessarily, prevent many unemployed persons from finding part-time or temporary work.  And, it would open up litigation possibilities when a part-time employee feels that he or she has been denied extra hours that they wanted to work.  This is a bill to watch, for all CA employers.

–Adam K. Treiger